It’s been a very hectic few weeks so finding a moment to update and write about what I’ve been up to has been difficult! I’m just back from recovering from all the fun and exams on holiday for mid semester break in Sydney!
Leading up to the break I’ve had 3 exams, a lifesaving competition (only a friendlies with SSTA but still competitive) with LGC and I’ve been revising, training and gyming more to keep myself busy. Its nice to be busy, I feel like I’m making the most of the quickly disappearing time I have left of my year abroad! I got above average in my midterm in climate change just to prove that I am doing my work, and I came first in a couple of races at the comp to prove training is paying off. It’s so scary to think that now we are in March and I leave Singapore to go to China in mid May which is now only a short 2 1/2 months away!
As I said, I have been chilling in Sydney this week. I went over to Australia mostly to visit one of my oldest friends who is working there for a year and very kindly offered to let me stay with her! It’s an amazing city, it’s just a shame I appear to have come in the only week in Aus summer that it rained all week. The weather did not deterred me however. I’ve been into the city centre 4 times, visited the national museum, NSW gallery, the contemporary art gallery, St Mary’s Church in Hyde Park, the Barracks at Hyde Park, got the ferry over to Watsons Bay and had a drink in the Opera Bar under the Opera House! The weather has cleared for enough time on each day to have allowed me to do the Coogee to Bondi walk, visit and explore the Blue mountains and sit on Coogee and Bondi beaches for a bit. So all in all a pretty culture and adventure filled trip!!
I really didn’t know that much about Australian history before I went and out of all the museums I think the Barracks was the most interesting. I managed to arrive just in time to join a guided tour which talked us through the building which began as the first prison for the British Colony and throughout its history was also used as an immigration depot for young unaccompanied women and then finally as a Law Administration building. If you are British and you ever want to feel horrible about your nations history and the way they acted you should go here. The prisoners were treated horrifically for the time they were held there, if you visit this in tandem with the Sydney History museum then you will also feel awful about the treatment of the aboriginals! So all in all it was pretty sad to hear. I guess eventually it formed the thriving city it is today… although obviously that doesn’t justify the treatment of aboriginal peoples and prisoners!
It’s been so great to see a friend from home and also one friend from Exeter who is also on his year abroad at UNSW too. Other than catching up with people I’ve missed, this is my first time out of Asia in 7 months so although aus is very different I almost feel at home! I find myself saying “OMG there are so many white people!” I hadn’t thought it would feel like such a novelty not to look like an outsider! And the western food is so good here, filling myself up on burgers, fish and chips, sandwiches and salad – a very healthy week away…
Such an incredible week and now it’s my 21st birthday in 5 days and my parents are coming out tomorrow to see me as it is also my dads 60th birthday in 3 days! It’s going to be an incredible next week (despite also having another 2 mid terms to study for), but going to Thailand for my Birthday will probably not help my results!!